A Palestinian commando leader, George Habash told a press conference in Amman on Friday (12 June) that the hotel in the Jordanian capital where foreign nationals had been held as hostages would have been blown up if King Hussein had not agreed to the guerrillas' demands.
LV Amman across city-gunfire
CU Commandos in streets check cars (in front of hotel) (2 shots)
MV Guerrillas outside hotel carry ammunition (2 shots)
MV Inside lounge of hotel
MV Family and children (2 shots)
MV Reporters working at typewriters
CU Habash speaking
CU Bullet holes in windows (2 shots)
MV Troops & others at hotel entrance.
CU Grants being interviewed
LV OVER Amman
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 8: HABASH: "That we have the full right to make pressure, here on the reactionary regime, and on America, and all forces, and this will be a winning card in out hand--I'm talking very frankly, and I have also to be frank and tell you something. We were really determined--we were not joking, I'm so glad that fate and conditions went the way they went. Because, to be frank, we were fully determined that in case they will smash us in the camps, we will blow all this building and Philadelphia all over. We were really determined to do this. Why? Because we know that our revolution will continue even if they crush us here in Amman.
SEQ 11: QUESTION: "Mr. Grant did you ever believe that you were in any danger?"
MR. GRANT: "Well, one didn't really know what was going on. This was the only thin, you know. Bit I think by and large we felt fairly secure. They behaved so correctly that one couldn't...."
QUESTION: "But did they not tell you that you were being held hostage and that if ... the Government didn't do what they wanted your lives might be in jeopardy?"
MR. GRANT: "Oh I don't think this was ever actually said in so many words, no."
QUESTION: "But it was implied?"
MR. GRANT: "Not before this mornings wind-up speech."
QUESTION: "By Dr. Habash?"
MR. GRANT: "Yes."
QUESTION: "What did you think of that. I mean, how did he put it to you?"
MR. GRANT: "Well, he tried to explain the reasons why they did it. He said he was personally very sorry that we had to be inconvenienced in this way."
QUESTION: "But did he leave you in any doubt that perhaps your lives might have been forfeited if..."
MRS. GRANT: "I think basically what he said, he said the hotel might be blown, which is a different thing to saying that anybody might be killed."
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PRODUCTION NUMBERS 5634/70 -- LEBANON: LEFT WING DEMONSTRATORS FIRE JORDANIAN EMBASSY IN SUPPORT OF PALESTINE COMMANDO ACTION N AMMAN (NATSOF) AND 5637 -- JORDAN: SEVENTY FOREIGN NATIONALS RELEASED AFTER BEING HELD HOSTAGE IN AMMAN -- SERVICED TODAY -- ALSO REFER.
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Background: A Palestinian commando leader, George Habash told a press conference in Amman on Friday (12 June) that the hotel in the Jordanian capital where foreign nationals had been held as hostages would have been blown up if King Hussein had not agreed to the guerrillas' demands.
The freeing of the hotel hostages came after three days of fighting in Jordan between the Army and Commandos which left an estimated 1000 people dead.
About 70 people of various nationalities were released from the hotel after King Hussein dismissed his two top military commanders--the King's uncle Major General Sharif Nasser Bin Jamil, supreme commander of the armed forces; and his cousin, Major General Zeid Bin Shaker, commander of the third armoured division.
Most of the hostages from the hotel were expected to leave Jordan immediately. About 300 foreigners, mostly West German and United States' women and children, have already been flown out by charter aircraft to Athens and Beirut.
The hostages, who included women and children, said they had been well treated by the commandos who belonged to a group known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.